Todd Murphy wants to add a Ravichandran Ashwin-style carrom ball to his repertoire but he says nailing his stock delivery remains his key focus ahead of the upcoming Ashes series.
The 22-year-old is in England as Australia prepares for the upcoming World Test Championship final against India, before the five-Test Qantas Ashes Tour.
Murphy impressed in four Tests in India with 14 wickets at an average of 25.51.
It was also an opportunity to analyse Indian maestro Ashwin in action, and in particular his ability to bowl the carrom ball which can spin either way or go straight on.
“I am still working on that but I am still a long way off being able to do it the way Ravi Ashwin can,” Murphy told AAP.
“It is simple in a way, and yet so difficult. It is just about being confident that you can execute it. I’d love to be able to add that myself one day.
“If you have a delivery that goes the other way it just poses different challenges for the batsmen.
“You are always looking at ways to tinker and add things to your kitbag but in Test cricket you have to make sure your fundamentals are really good and your stock ball is in as good a position as you can.”
While on the India tour, Murphy would watch video of Ashwin closely and freeze-frame the point of delivery to understand the intricacies of the craft.
“That is the best part of analysis now that you have access to that the whole time,” Murphy said.
“I was really interested in watching that sort of stuff and get a close-up look of his hand and wrist position, just to see how each ball was coming out and if it was behaving differently.
“In those conditions his skillsets are as good as anyone and it was amazing to just watch the subtle variations he is able to implement in sequencing throughout his overs.”
Nathan Lyon is Australia’s clear first-choice spinner and Murphy is not sure how many Tests – if any – he will get to play on tour.
“Obviously at the moment ‘Gaz’ (Lyon) is there and has been so good for so long. In a way I hope I don’t have to play a game on this tour because that means he is staying fit and on the park and our quicks are standing up as well,” Murphy said.
“It is a squad mentality. Hopefully I can add value to the squad, train hard and keep developing my skillset. If there is an opportunity that arises I have to make sure I am in a really good position to take it.
“I’ve got to be ready at all times. A lot of things can change and they can change fast.”
2023 Qantas Tour of the UK
World Test Championship Final: Wednesday June 7-Sunday June 11, The Oval
First Test: Friday June 16-Tuesday June 20, Edgbaston
Second Test: Wednesday June 28-Sunday July 2, Lord’s
Third Test: Thursday July 6-Monday July 10, Headingley
Fourth Test: Wednesday July 19-Sunday July 23, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: Thursday July 27-Monday 31, The Oval
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner